Strike action by SONI control room staff is called off after compromise

Industrial action by staff in the control room at SONI has been called off
Gary McDonald Business Editor

A ONE-day strike planned for next Monday by operators of the electricity transmission system for Northern Ireland has been called off.

Prospect trade union members at the EirGrid-owned SONI company had voted strongly in favour of the action after claims they had not received an annual pay award since 2015.

But last night it emerged the strike as been suspended following an apparent compromise.

The union claimed SONI had refused to budge, despite a proposal from Prospect for an under inflation pay rise to be made, and on arbitration.

However, SONI has made a revised proposal to the Prospect union which has now been accepted by members.

Robin McCormick, general manager at SONI, said: “We welcome the fact that Prospect members at SONI have agreed to suspend the planned industrial action following an improved offer and a proposal to engage in a process of arbitration through the Labour Relations Agency.

“We will now focus on reaching agreement on the pay claim and will also work to establish a system for future pay that ensures that SONI's services remain value for money for Northern Ireland electricity users.”

SONI is the independent transmission system operator for the region, ensuring that Northern Ireland has a secure, reliable and cost-effective supply of electricity.

It is regulated under a licence granted by the Utility Regulator for Northern Ireland and operates within the limits of a price control which ensures the services it provides are value for money for electricity consumers.

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